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In a word: "Disgusting". Not only is this film radically Marxist (even the Depression-era unions and FDR are depicted as selling out the workers as they march toward revolution!), but it's the most anti-Semitic film I ever recall seeing from a modern Hollywood production. Although the film's central hero, Marc Blitzstein, was of Jewish heritage as a matter of historical fact, that aspect of his heritage is never mentioned. The only references to Jews in "Cradle Will Rock" are a few gratuitous (i.e., completely unnecessary) mentions of Jews as friends of the lucripetous, rich characters and as friends of fascists, and in the person of Sarandon's character -- a sycophantic Jewish woman enamored with Mussolini who helps plunder Italy's cultural heritage (literally for bags of American cash!) and who implores Diego Rivera to compromise his art and Marxist ideology for Rockefeller cash. The apparent suggestion in "Cradle Will Rock" that Jews were complicit in their own persecution in the 1930's for the sake of money is disgusting, morally repugnant and wholly unworthy of the talent involved in this project.
I am absolutely shocked and appalled at this film. Although I agree that the production values were better than average and the impressive all-star cast's acting was better than average (Caution: Sarandon's Italian accent and persona were of surprisingly low, street busking quality!), the film's radical Marxist and anti-Semitic messaging leave little option other than an extremely low score. Recommendation: Skip "Cradle Will Rock" unless you're a Marxist or neo-Nazi.
A clash of artistic styles/movements--socialist realism (radical, revolutionary, populist, working-class), vaudeville (conservative, reactionary, populist), (neo-)classical (conservative, reactionary, elitist, ruling-class), and abstract--and their relation to the class struggle.
Really liked this film, which had a great deal that was very important to say and a great way to say it. Makes one feel proud to be a part of the human race.
Alas, Art is so Good, and Business is so Bad. But there is fun in thar if you ignore the point.
An evidently uneven but worthwhile film. The star-studded cast (Vanessa Redgrave is a goddess!) and the interesting plot keep you going despite the tribulations courtesy of a flawed script and unfocused direction. Also, I 100% agree with the film's simple but articulate and always valid message: we are all prostitutes.
Decent enough film. I don't know why it is so overlooked or over-reacted to (negatively, often.) It's got a stellar cast and a bit of everything. That said, It's clearly Tim Robbins' weakest film as a director and nobody really stands out--apart from maybe Bill Murray.
I would have appreciated a measure of subtlety at some point, as there are moments of "symbolism" that reach laughable proportions with their obviousness. However, since this film still pretty successfully deals with the political and social power of theatre (which is a notion that is very dear to me) I still enjoy the film for the simple fact that it so strongly appeals to my own sensibilities and biases.
Although too much political and sometimes a little extreme or stereotyped (or maybe the characters were so), some interesting characters and amusing crossed stories. Good show.
No. This is NOT The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. Tim Robbins' film is based on the actual events surrounding the WPA Federal Theater Project's production of The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein, which was directed by Orson Welles and produced by John Houseman. The play was a pro-labor musical in the style Kurt Weil and Bertolt Brecht. During the heart of the Great Depression the production took place amid a growing Red Scare (communism), fascism, unions, and the increasing power of Hitler and Mussolini. The film also recounts the battle over a mural in Rockefeller Center between painter Diego Rivera and Nelson Rockefeller. While the film does takes liberties with many events, it still manages to present an accurate picture of the political and artistic forces at work during this period. Robbins manages to make an excellent commentary on the relationship between art, power and finance both then and now.
(Orson Welles to John Houseman) "Oh fine, Jack! You win, you've got the biggest creative dick, okay? "
Congressman: "You are quoting from this Marlowe. Is he a Communist?"
Hallie Flanagan: "I am very sorry. I was quoting from Christopher Marlowe."
Congressman: "Tell us who Marlowe is, so we can get the proper reference, because that is all we want to do."
Hallie Flanagan: "Put in the record that he was the greatest dramatist in the period immediately preceding Shakespeare."
Bertolt Brecht: "But where are the artists? Artists are the worst whores of all!"
Diego Rivera: "You're a piece of work. A Jewish fascist!"
Margherita Sarfatti: "And you're a rich communist!"
good movie, good cast.